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Curing cancer - The American Code Against Cancer

Revised on 9 January 2023; originally posted at Nat Pernick's Curing Cancer Blog on 15 April 2021.

The American Code Against Cancer focuses on actions that individuals can take to help prevent cancer, which reduces the risk of getting cancer by 30-50% and is part of our strategic plan to substantially reduce cancer deaths.

  1. Do not smoke or use any form of tobacco.
  2. Make your home smoke free.
  3. Try to achieve a healthy body weight with a BMI of 25 or less.
  4. Be physically active.
  5. Have a healthy diet based on vegetables, fruits and whole grains. Limit sugar, fat, processed meat and red meat.
  6. If you drink alcohol, limit your intake. Not drinking alcohol reduces your cancer risk.
  7. Avoid too much sun, especially for children. Use sun protection. Do not use tanning beds.
  8. Protect yourself against cancer causing substances in the workplace by following health and safety instructions.
  9. Check that your residence does not have high radon levels.
  10. For adults:
    • Get a physical exam every 1-2 years to detect possible problems, discuss risk prevention and get needed tests, screenings and vaccinations.
    • Get screened for hepatitis C at least once; pregnant women should be screened during each pregnancy.
    • Get an annual lung screening if you are a current or former heavy smoker age 50-80.
    • Avoid medical misinformation; rely on trustworthy governmental or academic sources.
    • Ensure optimal medical treatment by being organized regarding medical issues and using good medical judgment.
  11. For adult women:
    • Breastfeed your baby, if you can, to reduce your risk of breast cancer.
    • Limit use of hormone replacement therapy.
    • Get screened for colon cancer, breast cancer and cervical cancer.
  12. For adult men:
    • Get screened for colon cancer.
  13. For children:
    • Get vaccinated for hepatitis B and HPV to reduce cancer risk.

The American Code Against Cancer is based on the European Code Against Cancer with modifications from the Centers for Disease Control-Lung Cancer Screening and the Centers for Disease Control-Screening for Hepatitis C.

We urge all Americans to also promote supportive government policies and actions, which are required for successful cancer prevention.

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